By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | August 29, 2017 12:47pm ET
CALGARY, Alberta — The fossilized remains of two pterosaurs — winged reptiles that flew sky high during the dinosaur age — suggest that the soaring truck- and plane-size beasts were closely related to the gigantic Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest pterosaur on record, new research finds.
Both pterosaurs date back to the Maastrichtian, a period that occurred between 72 million and 66 million years ago. It ended when a 6-mile-wide (10 kilometers) asteroid slammed into Earth, ending the reign of the nonavian dinosaurs and countless reptiles, including the pterosaurs.
The newly unearthed pterosaurs were found in Jordan in 2005 and 2008, and both belong to a family of pterosaurs called Azhdarchids, which includes the famous Q. northropi — a pterosaur the size of an airplane, with an almost-40-foot (12 meters) wingspan. [Photos of Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs]